34: BONUS: When Domestic Violence Walks Through The Doors of Your Animal Business

Domestic violence victims and their children often have significant bonds with their pets, with the pet offering love and comfort, and often serving as trusted confidants. People who chose to hurt animals, often do not stop at hurting animals. There is a recognized link between animal cruelty and domestic violence. Harm to animals is an indicator crime of other violence going on in the home. In fact, abuse of animals is also a direct tool that abusers will use to control their intimate partner. Survivors will often delay leaving an abusive relationship out of fear for their animals as abusers often threaten harm or neglect of pets and/or farm animals as a means of controlling their victim. Often, there is little to no safe haven available to larger animals such as livestock or horses. Animal, equine and pet-based business animals ARE coming in contact with survivors of domestic violence and have the potential to play a lifesaving role in the prevention and response to domestic violence.

Our Big 3 Takeaways

Understand the Dynamics of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, batter, sexual assault and/or other abusive behavior as part of a pattern of power and control perpetuated by one intimate partner against another. Domestic violence is experienced in EVERY community and affects all people regardless of age, economic or social status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or nationality.

Learn How To Identify Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can show up in many ways. Emotional abuse, physical abuse, threats, intimidation, isolation, legal abuse, economic abuse, denying, blaming and using children and pets. Learn to identify the signs of domestic violence, both obvious and subtle.

How to Help When Domestic Violence Walks Into Your Business

Make a plan for how to assist when you become aware of a domestic violence situation. 

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Mentioned in the episode:

  1. https://www.thehotline.org/ The National Domestic Violence Hotline
  2. https://nnedv.org/ National Network to End Domestic Violence
  3. https://ncadv.org/ National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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Transcripts are autogenerated and may contain typographical and grammar errors. This transcript is copyright©2021 Kimberly Beer and Cara Taylor Swift. DO NOT COPY in whole or part without written permission.

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Jaz 0:01 Welcome to The Business Animal podcast. saddle up for a gallop to the top of the animal industry, where you’ll learn how to tame your wild business beast, with tips, techniques, and tools that will take overwhelm to obedience school, and have you wagging your tail with joy. And now your hosts, Kim Beer, and Cara Taylor Swift. Kimberly Beer 0:23 Hey there business animals, it’s Kim with Be More Business Cara Taylor Swift 0:27 and Cara with Fast Horse Photography, I would imagine some of you are surprised right now because you’re seeing an episode of The Business Animal drop on a Thursday. That’s really unusual, right, Kim? Kimberly Beer 0:37 it is very unusual. But we have a new phenomenon among The Business Animal that we’re going to provide you guys on occasion. And that is the bonus episode. Cara Taylor Swift 0:46 That’s right. And this month, for those of you that don’t know, is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. And this is a good time to just remind folks that you know, I did domestic violence work for 12 years before becoming an equine photographer and working in an animal based industry. And so this month hits me hard every year. And I always want to try to find a way that whatever I’m doing can help bring education or support to survivors that are out there. So what Kim and I decided we wanted to do was to drop our very first bonus episode today on October 1, beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and talk to folks out there that are working, you know, you’re working your pet, your equine, your animal based business, but what do you do when a survivor walks through the door? So before we jump into that topic, I just want to say a couple things. First of all, you know, Kim, and I recognize that one in four women are victims of domestic violence. And what that means is that we know that there are people listening to this episode right now that are survivors of domestic violence, maybe it’s in their past, or maybe they are currently you guys, someone out there is currently experiencing violence in their home. So I want to just say that this could be somewhat of a triggering episode for someone because we are going to talk about the dynamics of domestic violence and animal abuse. And we’re going to talk a little bit about how as animal based business owners, we can help in that situation. The other thing that I want to just mention briefly is if someone is listening today that is currently in a relationship that’s not safe. listening to this episode is something that should be considered. So we would love to encourage you guys to continue listening. But we would also want to make sure that if you need to go into your phone, your app, whatever your listening device is, and mark this episode as unplayed, we totally recommend doing that it will show that your episode hasn’t been played. And that might be a safety thing for you guys to think about how to be safe while listening to this episode. So with that in mind, I just want to go ahead, I think and get started. So when I approached him about this topic, one of the things I was thinking about is all of the times that I was working with survivors, and I would be sitting with them, and we would be talking about their situation and how to get them safe. And we would be doing safety planning. And it’s funny, I’m saying this and my puppy just came over and put his head in my lap. So giving him snuggles right now Kimberly Beer 3:09 that’s moral support. Cara Taylor Swift 3:10 Right, right. So one of the things that you know, often survivors would say to me is they can’t leave because of their pet, they can’t there’s no place that they can go and bring their pet or that they have a small herd of horses at home, and they can’t leave because they can’t leave their horses behind. So that you know, one of the things that that made me realize is that as animal based business owners today, each one of us are having survivors walk through our door, we probably just don’t necessarily know it or know how to recognize the signs or maybe after listening to this episode, we will be able to recognize the signs. Any thoughts on that Kim? Before I move on? Kimberly Beer 3:47 Yes. So as someone who has experienced in a small measure domestic violence, I had a boyfriend in high school that was very abusive. This is a subject that’s very near and dear to my heart. And it’s one of the major reasons why I studied in the touched by a horse equine Gestalt coaching program because I wanted to be able to help not just myself, that’s a major part of it, but also other people who are experiencing are in in abusive relationships. Because I think it’s a misconception that you can just walk away from that relationship. I think a lot of times my mother, my mother love her to death, but she was one of those women that’s like, well, he hits you once it’s your fault or his fault. If he hit you twice, it’s yours, you should have left. And after having experienced that on a personal level, I can tell you it’s not that easy. And that was a situation where I was still a very young woman, I had a lot of support, I had a lot of ability to lean on other people and that had they not been there it would have been a really bad situation. So I totally understand that. And I also understand what it’s like to walk around in the world with that judgment. on you, if people see the abuse happening, you know, like, what can you do? What What can you do as as a witness to that, or as someone who who has knowledge of it and learning to navigate that and help people on the other end of it through the EGC, and program that I’m in, that’s been a really huge, a huge part of my life and a huge part of me fulfilling my mission. So this episode hits for both of us, I think, Cara. Cara Taylor Swift 5:27 I think you’re right, thank you for sharing that Kim. And that work that you’re doing, it is inevitable, just for the fact that you’re working with humans and women in particular, that you are going to be hearing stories, and you’re going to be working with survivors. So I think that anyone out there that’s doing that type of work, but doing I mean, if you’re doing work with humans, you’re working with survivors at some point. And what we’re going to talk about today specifically is when you have a survivor walk through the door with their pet, or their animal, or you’re working with them, and you identify signs of domestic violence, potentially, or animal abuse, and we’re going to talk about that connection. So the truth is, is that domestic violence victims, and oftentimes, their children, a lot of times have significant bonds with their pets, the pets, I mean, just like my dog, Rocky, who just came up, they offer love and comfort, and they can really sense when we’re having feelings, I guess I could say, and a lot of times, they’re they serve as our trusted confidants. I mean, they’re the animal that we snuggle up next to, you know, after a hard day, they’re the one that when we’re having an emotional moment, and we have some quiet time, like we’re, we’re talking to them about that. So people who choose to hurt animals, they oftentimes do not stop at hurting animals. And there is absolutely a recognized link between animal cruelty and domestic violence. And one of the things I like to point out to people is that harm to animals is an indicator crime of other violence that’s happening in the home. So a lot of times, if you’re working in your business, and you come across an animal that has been abused or harmed, there is most likely, there’s a high likelihood that there is child abuse or physical violence of some type happening within that home abuse of animals is oftentimes a direct tool or a tactic that abusers will use to control their intimate partner. So survivors will just like I was mentioning earlier, they will oftentimes delay leaving an abusive relationship out of fear that their animals will be abused, that they will be threatened for harm, that neglect of the pets or the farm animals will happen. And all of that is as a means of controlling the survivor. And then one of the hard parts of this is that oftentimes there is little to no safe haven available for survivors with their pets. And especially if you’ve got, you know, a herd of livestock, or you’ve got horses, or just any kind of larger farm animals, it can be very challenging for survivor to find safe haven for those animals. So with that being said, animal equine, and pet based businesses are coming in contact with survivors of domestic violence on a regular basis, whether they know it or not, and they really have a potential to play a life saving role in the prevention and response to domestic violence. So that’s why this is so important. And that’s why Kim and I are saying, you know, asking you, if you run an animal based business, don’t write this episode off and start looking for something else to listen to. This is something that everything else that’s out there, you can know, without a doubt that if you were working with humans, and working with animals, you’re going to come in contact with survivors of domestic violence, whether you recognize that or know how to respond, that’s going to be dependent on your ability to gain access to knowledge. A great example of a situation that I have heard of came from a veterinary clinic in the community that I was working in, they contacted us because they had a woman and her partner come in with their pet and the animal was sick. And I’m putting that in quotation marks because I can’t remember if it was sick, or she was pretending it was sick. But she had been held hostage in her home for several days. And the pet, she basically used the pet needing to see the vet as a way to get out of the house. And he wouldn’t let her leave and take the pet but he would take he would take the two of them to the vet. So they get to the office, the abusers they’re the woman’s they’re their pets there. And this could very easily have been a standard veterinary experience for this woman and their pet. But the woman took the pet back and she handed a note to the tech that said, basically, I’ve been held hostage in my home, I’m in immediate danger. Please help me please do not say anything to the man that’s waiting with me in the waiting room. And what do you do in a situation like that? Right? Yeah, what happens from there. And so I mean, you’ve got someone that’s telling you, I am not safe. And when I leave here, I’m probably going to go back to an unsafe situation, you know, so they contacted us and we worked with them, you know, through that process, and we’re able to get law enforcement there and we’re able to get that woman safely out of the building and to the shelter. And we were fortunate enough that we had connections with veterinary clinics that could help board animals and that in which shelters that could help do that to some extent. So we had worked To build those connections in advance, but what I’m saying with that is you could be in any animal based business, you could be a horse trainer or a someone giving writing lessons and have a situation occur that you’re going to need to handle. So that’s why I’m giving that example because these are things that are going to come up at some point how you handle them, and how you recognize them could literally be life saving role that you’re playing. Kimberly Beer 10:22 I had a very good friend who was a farrier, who would tell me stories of of witnessing because they farriers it’s so it’s not just people coming into an animal based business like farriers, go to people’s homes, and they recognize the abuse, he would tell me stories about situations where he was just really not good for the family where he was going to work on the horses, and there were obvious signs. I don’t think he ever did anything to report it, though. I think it was just a discussion that people had kind of behind the scenes, which is what I think you really would like for us not to do. So yeah. How do you know when to interfere? And when not right? Cara Taylor Swift 11:06 And I think that that’s really common. Kimberly Beer 11:08 Yeah, shouldn’t just come home and tell your your neighbor what happened, there’s, there’s got to be a way to do something other than just witness a situation that is unsafe for family members of an abuser? Cara Taylor Swift 11:22 Well, and that’s the truth is that, you know, there are a lot of animal based business owners that are actively going to people’s homes, to their animal based businesses, they’re interacting with families and children and pets that are running around. And, you know, sometimes that’s half the battle is recognizing and bearing witness. But then the next step is, you know, what, what can I do? You know, what are my options? Kimberly Beer 11:44 Yeah, what can you do? Cara Taylor Swift 11:45 Yeah, right. So that’s what I think we’re going to talk a little bit hopefully about today to at least get people thinking about that. So I want to start briefly by doing just a really brief kind of a dynamics of domestic violence 101. So I’m going to give you kind of the formal definition and just that domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault and or other by an abusive partner. And what it comes down to is it’s part of a pattern of power and control, perpetuated by one intimate partner against another domestic violence is experienced, it’s in every community, it affects all people, regardless of age, economic and social status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. And the big key part of that is it’s an abusive behavior as part of a pattern of power and control. So when I say pattern, these tactics including animal abuse, or the threat of harm of an animal is a tactic for an abuser to continue to control their partner at all times. It is not an anger issue I’ll have a lot of people say oh, he has anger problems, it’s not about anger, because batters will choose who they abuse they choose when they abuse, they choose the type of abuse that they use, and they will choose who witnesses and oftentimes and they’ll choose where on the animal or the human, they perpetuate the violence and leave marks so great examples are things like you know, the abusive person is really well liked in the community and no one’s ever seen him say a harsh word but at home He’s a monster because he’s behind closed doors or if he’s hitting her he’s hitting her in places that can be covered by the clothing, you know, that can’t be seen or you know that the threats that he’s using to isolate You know, that’s all stuff that’s happening that people aren’t seeing so I just you know, I want to put that out there just as a brief these are all of the types of things and there’s so much out there that we can’t cover today so one of the things that I would always get asked by people and that Kim mentioned briefly at the beginning is you know, the question of Well, why don’t they just leave Why don’t survivors or victims just leave so I always like to say well, there’s hundreds of reasons why survivors stay in an abusive relationship. I would even go so far as they there might be a reason for every single person out there living in a violent relationship. They have their reasons there are a lot of things that we know though, for starters, and probably one of the most dramatic parts of this is that for victims leaving an abusive relationship is absolutely the most dangerous time because what’s happening is they’re choosing to leave and if you’re looking at this as a power and control dynamic when they’re leaving the abuser is in some regards losing control of the situation. So a lot of times when we look at cases where women have been killed by their intimate partners, it’s usually when they’ve done something that could mean they’re attempting to leave and that might be that they’re packing their bags and leaving it might mean that they told someone for the first time it might mean that they reached out to a hotline it could be you know the abuser is lashing out to gain that control and it ends in the death of the of the victim. It could be anything as simple as you know, they have good days with that person and they have bad days with that person. But those good days mean so much and I will tell people you know you can’t blame someone for believing someone when they say they’re going to change You can’t blame someone for believing that the person has good days. And when the good days are really good, they’re really good by wanting to keep their marriage together, you just can’t You can’t fault people in wanting to try and to do everything they can do to make that relationship work. And then of course, there’s what we’re talking about today. One of the factors is that fear of abuse of their pets neglect of their pets, or the death of a pet, if they can’t take that animal with them. And it is very difficult for survivors to leave and take a herd of horses with them when they go, you know, unless they’ve been able to find a place they can take them. That’s just some really general things to consider that I would encourage people to stop asking that question, why don’t they just leave and instead ask the question, why is this person using violence? Why is this person controlling their partner? Why are they abusing them? So flip that script in your mind? If you’re asking people why they don’t leave, flip that script and ask why is this person using violence. The next part I want to talk a little about is specifically about animal abuse and domestic violence and some things to consider as animal based business owners to help identify abuse within your business. Kim, is there anything that you wanted to add before I move on to the section Kimberly Beer 16:12 no other than just the part about being able to walk away, for me personally, it was it was psychological control. It didn’t like start as an abusive relationship. But there were little pieces, and it just it chipped away at my self esteem. So which was a little shaky, to begin with, which was probably why that person chose me, but the little chips away at my self esteem, by the time it got really bad, and I should have been out of it, he was in my head, and I no longer had control he did. And that’s what happens, right? I’m an intelligent, strong woman. I was even as a teenager, and yet that process happened. And it’s, it’s to the point that you just aren’t in control of your own self any longer. So when someone would say that to me, or says that to me now, as an adult, having experienced it in the smaller measure that I experienced it, I’m like, you just don’t understand you can’t. It’s it’s not a point of being able to their abusers are smart. They’re very good at it. And it’s very hard to walk away from, and sorry, my normally articulate self gets Tongue Tied over stuff like that, because that goes right back to being in that position, right. And it’s something you carry with you your entire life. So yeah, let’s all be kind when we’re approaching that. So yeah, please go ahead, Cara. Cara Taylor Swift 17:47 Well, and you bring up a good point. I mean, oftentimes, when we start a relationship with someone, we don’t sit down together at dinner for the first night, and they say to us, so this is how this is going to work. I’m going to be a real sweet guy tonight. And but tomorrow, when we go to dinner, I’m going to tell you what you can eat. And then the next day when we go to dinner, I’m going to tell you, I don’t want you to see your family anymore. And then I’m going to start pushing you around. And the next thing I know I’m going to be hitting you you know, if we sat down to dinner with somebody and they laid out this game plan for us, we’d be like I’m out of here you know, I’m I don’t know anything about apps on dating, but I’m swiping whichever one that swipes you away you know, and but that’s not how it works. Oftentimes it can be you know, it can be a slow a slower process. I mean, it doesn’t always go that way. It could certainly start out violent and violent, but it oftentimes it’s a slow process where you’re becoming more and more emotionally connected. So yeah, that makes a lot of sense Kim. Kimberly Beer 18:42 it’s tougher than it looks. Yeah, it does. It stays with you long term, you you do have a trauma response long term. And that’s what I see. When I’m in the training program in with the equine Gestalt coaching. I’ve witnessed it many, many times and participated in it myself in the fact that that trauma, it lives in your body, it lives in your mind, it lives in your soul, it lives in your psyche. And there’s things that you react to out in the world. And you’ll be like, why did I Why did I over respond to that? You know, why? Why did that happen that particular way. And sometimes you don’t even realize it until you start to work around it and break it down and figure out, you know, oh, that’s where this comes from the fact that anybody complements me on my clothes. I don’t believe them. Because part of my abusers tactic was to always tear apart everything I did. And so I for many years, I couldn’t take a compliment because I always felt it would be followed up with something abusive later on, and then I’d feel like a fool. So it eeks into your world. And it definitely is not something that should be ignored. And it should be discussed more often. Cara Taylor Swift 19:55 That’s right. That’s why we’re doing this. Kimberly Beer 19:56 Yeah, exactly. And talk to us about identifying Cara Taylor Swift 20:00 So when we’re working our animal based businesses, the way that domestic violence and animal abuse might present itself is through a well, it’s a combination of things you might have survivors talking about, or you might identify things like emotional abuse, and this can look like abusers giving away or killing pets of the survivor just to take away their love and support that they get from that animal. It could look like animals just disappearing off the property and having kind of an unexplained like, well, where did these animals go, I mean, sometimes that can be it’s another form of punishment, it can also look like physical abuse, that’s probably the one that people think of as the most obvious. And that could be animals coming in that are injured that maybe have breaks in multiple stages of or injuries and multiple stages of recovery. So you might have an animal with broken bones, but maybe some bones are starting to heal and others are more fresh or fresh wounds. You know, that’s something when you might start thinking about Okay, what’s actually happening here is an abuser purposefully hurting this animal to hurt the survivor. It could look like animals being killed. I have a friend of mine that when she was a child, her abuser, her father killed their family dog in front of them to show the mother what could be done to the family. And you know, that’s an example of that, like you have a dog that’s, that’s dead, all of a sudden, it could look like animals caught in the crossfire. I have a six month old Labrador puppy. And one of the things that she’ll do is if we’re tickling my son, or we’re just goofing around and roughhousing in the house, the puppy gets in the middle, and wants to be goofy, and play, but they also have a protective element. So it could be an animal getting caught in the crossfire, like a dog trying to protect a survivor, for example. And then there could be other physical stuff about animals being used in sexual situations. So survivors being forced to have sex with animals, or are people having sex with the animals as a form of punishment to the survivor. Other things that happen intimidation, so the act of threatening to harm or kill a pet, for example, saying things like, and next time it’ll be you, or targeting the pets of a family or friends who helped. So if you’ve got a friend that has animals, and they help, it could be something where they’re threatening to hurt the animals in the situation, it could also look like isolation. So abusers refusing to allow the survivor to take the pet to the vet, or prohibiting them from having like horses, like prohibiting them from having routine care and maintenance, like the farrier coming out having the equine dentist come out, having the vet come out, because they don’t want people on the property, they want to continue to isolate, and not allow that from happening. And that could be even something like not allowing survivors to socialize their dogs with other people. It’s all about the isolation. Also, there can be things around using children. So harming and killing a child’s pet, like I mentioned about a friend of mine, blaming the disappearance of a family pet on the abused partner, it can also look like creating a wedge between the parent and child by using the pet. So they might create wedges, thereby just trying to use the pet in some form to separate the survivor from their children. Denying and blaming is another tactic. So blaming the abused partner of the pet in animal cruelty, or in neglect cases. So you might have the forced abuse of an animal or the forced neglect of an animal and then contacting animal control or contacting legal authorities and accusing them of not caring for the animal. And then sometimes this comes to light in terms of the abuser killing the pet, and then saying something like, it didn’t matter because the pet was old. So they didn’t want to have this pet in their house anymore. So they just, you know, killed the pet because the pet was old when that was still an animal that the survivor really relied on. This can also be seen in terms of economic abuse. So you know, refusing to allow the abused partner to spend money for food for the pet, or care for the pet as needed. And then there’s also a legal side of it. So sometimes you’ll see custody battles over the pets filing charges of theft, if the abused partner, for example, is able to leave and go to a shelter and take the animal with them. That would be a tactic the abuser might use is to file charges of theft of the animal or animals. So these are just some really generalized things to think about. But the idea is we want to get animal based business owners out there thinking outside of the box of just physical abuse. So just seeing an animal that has, you know, multiple stages of healing, for example, and multiple injuries of different levels. We want you to think about things like the emotional abuse, the threats, the intimidation, isolation, economic abuse, we want you to start thinking about some of these things as well. Kim, any thoughts on that? Kimberly Beer 24:45 What do you and I think this is where you’re going next, like when you recognize this, what’s the next step that is appropriate for both this the person that’s in this domestic violence situation as well as your To remember you, dear business owners out there that are listening to this, you can get yourself put in danger in this situation because one thing that I’ve learned about abusers is that when they’re being called out and called up on on their abuse, it’s not a pleasant situation for them. And sometimes they’ll try to sidestep it. But other times that means that that abuse can fall down on you. So Cara, how do we safely help survivors? Cara Taylor Swift 25:30 That’s a great question, Kim. And what I usually recommend is first thing you can do is think about your current situation where you’re at, like, Where is the survivor disclosing information? And what are you recognizing and how is that information coming to you is the place that you’re at right now in this situation? Is it a safe space to have a conversation? Are you standing in a barn alleyway, and the abuser and the survivor standing there with you next to their horse and having a conversation, you know, and you’re identifying things? Is this a safe place to have that conversation, maybe, maybe not, that’s going to be something that you know, the animal based business owner has to think about. But the first thing that I would recommend is listen, and believe the survivor if they are telling you something is happening, and they aren’t fitting, you know, like the example that I gave you, if the person that slipped the note to the vet tech, first thing to do is listen and believe you might be the very first person that they have decided to reach out to for help, you might be the first person that they’ve ever told this story to, you might be the first person ever to listen and believe them. And that can be the make it or break it time for a survivor who’s trying to exit their situation safely. And I recommend routinely asking questions about the animal. And you know, if you’re, this is another veterinary example, but this can apply across the board. And if you’re a massage therapist for in the equine industry, or you do massage therapy for animals, or you do in home checks, or any of that you can ask questions with people, do you have any safety concerns about your animal? You know, who’s ever thought of asking that question? Do you have any safety concerns? Who knows? What will come up? Right? It could be something well, you know, there’s been a coyote on my property lately, you know, who knows? But asking that question is such an amazing place to start, you know, and then asking, What are family members attitudes towards this pet? Or this animal, you know, and just let them talk and listen? And then Are there any obstacles in providing care for your animal? And that’s a great place to hear things like, Yeah, well, my husband doesn’t like, you know, when I spend money on the animal, or, you know, and you’re going to be able to kind of gauge some of that, or I can’t afford their food or, you know, I mean, that’s a great place to start is just asking some questions, listening and believing, and then, you know, evaluating what you’re seeing, when you’re looking at the animal, you know, are there injuries to more than one location on the body of the animal? Are they in different stages of healing? is the story of how the injuries occur? does it keep changing? Is there a history that is inconsistent with the injurys seen, and then have you noticed a failure to seek prompt medical attention or disinterest in the care of the animal, and these are all things that you know, can start to raise some red flags or warning signs when you’re there, and you’re assessing the person’s animal. But there are things that animal based businesses can do before the survivor walks through the door. And one of those things is to proactively build a connection with a local domestic violence program and really know who to contact in advance of when you meet a survivor and their pet or their animal. So knowing who those you know where that hotline number is, or who that phone number is that you need to call for help before that person comes through the door, but not just like looking, you know, online and getting a phone number, but actually reaching out to them and picking up the phone and saying, Hey, you know, I’m an animal based business owner, and I am concerned that I’m going to have a survivor come through the door sometime, or that I’m going to identify animal abuse that’s linked to domestic violence. I’m just wondering, you know, what are the resources that are available in my community? Is there a place that a survivor with a small pet could go and receive shelter and bring her pet with her? Do you have a connection with local animal shelters or boarding facilities that might be able to temporarily support and house larger animals, so building those connections in advance, and knowing what’s out there before someone walks through the door is a great first place to start in a way to really celebrate the advances that have been made in the domestic violence movement during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Kimberly Beer 29:31 Absolutely. And I also want to say for those of you who are going well, what do you do to help somebody who has an animal that needs to go to a shelter but can’t take their animal with them and I can tell you that there are rescues and our animal shelter in Kansas City actually has programs where they’ll help families find a foster during difficult situations like this. So they’ll actually advocate for the animal and find a foster situation. Until such time as the owner can take the animal back. So there’s all of these wonderful people in the world that will help foster animals in in these kinds of situations so that they have a safe place to go while the survivor gets the help that they need and is able to navigate the next steps in their own life safely, without having to worry about where their pet is or where their animal is at and that they’re being taken care of, or that they’re in harm’s way. So there are a lot of resources out there, if you ask, and you look around. Cara Taylor Swift 30:33 Absolutely. And there are domestic violence programs today that have onsite kenneling. for dogs and cats and smaller animals that have that available today so that survivors can bring those animals care for them right there in shelter. And they’re protected in the facility, also knowing you know, some of the legal side of it that’s out there. So working with a domestic violence program, or a domestic violence advocate or a professional, they will know like, for example, in your state, if you are able to file an injunction for protection or protection order and include your animal in that. So that varies state to state at this point. But working with those professionals is a huge way to be able to access some of those resources that are out there for victims that you come in contact with. Kimberly Beer 31:17 Well, and I think as a culture, we’re becoming far more aware of how animals are of value to us for emotional support. And I do believe that more people now are actively interested in helping those who find themselves in situations like this, where they do need temporary shelter for their animal to be safe, or they do need to have their animal with them to feel safe, that they’re more supportive, I still think we could go a whole lot further with that. But at least it’s it’s starting to edge into that direction. Cara Taylor Swift 31:49 of course, and training for your staff. So if you’re an animal based business owner that has staff having these conversations with your staff to that are going to be interacting with clients working out in the field or when animals come in with clients having some of that training in advance like you can contact a lot of times your local domestic violence, shelter, and they will someone out to do a really general these are the services that are available in your community training and give brief domestic violence dynamics education. So definitely reach out to your local programs in advance and find out what kind of support they can give to your animal based business. I also really love safety planning, that’s probably one of the most powerful things I always felt as an advocate that I was able to work with a survivor on. And that is literally doing planning around their individual safety. Now I can understand that that might be difficult for an animal based business owner out there just trying to get through the day to day, but there are some amazing online safety planning resources that I’m going to make sure that we’ve got links to in our resources on the show notes of this episode, but one of them is provided by the National Domestic Violence Hotline. And it’s actually an interactive safety planning tool that survivors can go on and they can learn about safety and tips and techniques they can do based on their situation. But it’s very interactive. And it includes planning for safety with animals, which I thought was pretty incredible. So it’s very interactive, tons of tips are on there. And I would definitely recommend that this is something that animal based business owners add to their toolkits and have kind of ready to go when they have someone walk through. And if you have a quiet space or quiet time with that person, if they’ve got their cell phone, or if you’ve got a tablet or something that can be pulled up, you can actually pull that up and let them go through that, right, there sitting in a waiting room sitting in a private room and a space at the back of your office and just do some really good safety planning on their own before they walk out of your out of your business. And it includes things like there are things that you can do as an animal based business owner, like assisting survivors and taking steps to prove the ownership of the animals and making sure that all licenses and registrations are in the survivors name. So even just mentioning that to someone you know, hey, do you do you legally own this animal? Are you able to prove that so that if you do have to file an order of protection, or you need to leave that you legally can show that you own that animal so that there aren’t issues with you know, your abuser filing stolen animal charges or something like that, Kimberly Beer 34:18 such a good idea. And I love that, you know, ensure that animals are microchipped and how you have the naming put in Cara Taylor Swift 34:25 when you microchip an animal, there’s a space where you put like contact so if the animal is lost and retrieved, like who is the contact person for that and making sure that you go in and update that I am the worst about updating those things, my phone numbers correct, but I’m like three addresses behind probably on all my dogs, microchips. So yeah, so having just making sure that that don’t be like me go in and make sure that that’s up to date, and that appropriate contact information is in there so that if an animal is identified at a shelter, that they’re not contacting the abusive party and sending that animal back to the abusive party, and then Something else to consider as an animal based business owner, if you’re talking to someone that’s a survivor, and they are thinking about leaving, you know, talk to them about bringing extra provisions for their animal, including any medications that the pet needs to be on all the extra food they can get. And then gathering those medical records, things that might literally be the difference from them, being able to quickly get that animal into a shelter situation or into a boarding facility, or a safe haven somewhere, those places you know, still will have to have some kind of record of vaccination, sometimes just for safety purposes. So having all that kind of gathered easily, especially if it’s, you know, like at nighttime or something. And it’s hard to wait for the vet to get open the next day and gather that information. So letting the helping them do that in advance. And just mentioning that it’s helpful, I’ve definitely worked with survivors, where we work to have the animal, their pet included in their order of protection when we were at the courthouse, and in some states, that is an option. So there are online interactive resources where you can actually go on and determine if you live in a state that allows animals to be included in the order and what that process looks like. So definitely keep that in mind as well. I don’t think people oftentimes consider when in a situation where they have to file an order of protection. For those that don’t know I’m talking about the old school like restraining order is what I’m talking about. If you have to file an order of protection that you can sometimes include your pet or your livestock your animals in that order. And then there are a few resources that I would highly recommend if you’re an animal based business owner that you hop on and check out and just spend a little time. The first is the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which I mentioned above, it has that amazing interactive safety planning tool that includes safety planning with animals, they have a bunch of other really good stuff too. And then the national network to End Domestic Violence is another great program, and then the National Coalition Against Domestic violence. And I’m going to make sure that all three of those links are in the show notes and easily accessible and clickable to you guys. But one of the best things you can do is start at the local level, find out who your local domestic violence programs are, who’s working that in your community, and build that relationship as soon as possible before survivor walks through your door. Kimberly Beer 37:05 Absolutely, you have customers that are survivors, there’s no ifs, ands or buts, you just may not be aware of it at this point. Thank you, Cara, for all of that information. I know that comes deep from your heart, and that this is something that you really would love to make an impact on helping people with. And I appreciate that and love you dearly for your support of those that need help. And for all of us out here in the world to just be better humans at helping each other because it is it is about community. And I think as animal based business owners, we understand that maybe deeper than others because of our packs and herds and prides and all of that. And it’s it’s all of our collective it helps us want to be better for each other. So I appreciate that all the resources will be online. And we would both be perfectly open to having a discussion about this on social media. If somebody sees something that they want to talk about or has questions, I’m sure Cara would be happy to answer or we can point you to a resource that would be beneficial for you. So please feel free to do that. Cara Taylor Swift 38:16 Absolutely. First of all, I just want to say thanks to those people who have stuck with this. If you’re an animal based business owner, and you want to know more information, we are happy to provide as much as we can point you guys in the right direction. But I want to speak to those folks that are listening that are survivors of domestic violence and to those that are currently living in a situation where they’re unsafe in their homes. And I just want to say to you that you deserve to live a life that’s free from violence, and there is help out there and it may not feel like that every day because you’re living it but you deserve to live a life free of violence and we love you and we want you guys to be safe. Okay, Kimberly Beer 38:53 ditto. Ditto on that for me as well. Jaz 38:56 Thanks for listening to this episode of The Business Animal. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. And if you learned something today, leave us a review. To learn more. Find us at TheBusinessanimal.com we’d love to hear from you. Until next time, keep your business well trained with The Business Animal Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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